in News March 12, 2019

Raising Awareness of Organ Donation within local communities

Currently hundreds of people in the UK die prematurely while on the organ transplant waiting list, because a compatible donor is not found in time. This problem is especially pronounced for patients from a BAME background, who are disproportionately likely to be in need of a kidney transplant. According to NHS statistics:

“While BAME groups represent around 11% of the UK population, only 7% of organ donors are BAME, and 35% of the total number of patients on the waiting list for a Kidney transplant were BAME.”

The NHS suggests that “more work needs to be done to further increase the possibilities for transplant for BAME patients.

Different faiths have mixed attitudes on whether or not organ donation is consistent with their values and beliefs. According to a 2010 study conducted by the Transplantation Society, only 36% of Muslims believe that organ donation is compatible with Islamic beliefs. However, 76.7% of respondents stated advertisement of organ donation issues amongst Muslims was poor.

In April 2020, organ donation laws are set to change from the current ‘opt in’ system to a ‘opt out’ or ‘deemed consent’ system. Therefore, from next year, people across England will have to make the difficult moral decision of whether or not they wish to choose not to join the ‘deemed consent’ system. Such a decision is likely to be especially difficult for those from a faiths background, where the moral status of organ donation is often unclear.

That’s why the Faiths Forum with a number of different community patterns will be carrying out an Organ Donation project specifically looking at raising awareness of the need in the Muslim community. 

The project will consist of a series of community discussions held across England’s major cities, including London, Birmingham and Manchester. The discussions will bring together faith leaders. health specialists and local community members to look at the issue of organ donation and highlighting the different viewpoints, and the need for it. In addition to this online material will be created to better explain the process of organ donation, as well highlight the stories of everyday people who either received an organ or donated/family member of individual who donated.

The goal is to support communities to make a much more informed decision in regards to organ donation and overcome a great deal of misunderstanding in this field. 

in News March 12, 2019


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